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Fillomino-Fillia Preview Series: Odd-Even Fillomino

This is an odd-even Fillomino (AKA Polyominous). In addition to the usual rules, the odd numbers must form a single polyomino, and the even numbers must similarly form a single polyomino.
Answer entry: Enter the units digits of each square in the marked rows and columns, from left to right for rows and from top to bottom for columns.

Highlight to see the answer: 9142436235 1999913315

Long-time readers may recall the first odd-even Polyominous on this blog, where the odd-even parity of each cell was given from the outset. This incarnation allows the odd numbers and the even numbers to interact more (by which I mean at all).

Fillomino-Fillia Preview Series: Classic Fillomino

This is a classic Fillomino (AKA Polyominous), operating by the classic rules.

Answer entry: Enter the units digits of each square in the marked rows and columns, from left to right for rows and from top to bottom for columns.

Highlight to see the answer: 8887771445 7772272554

You may notice that this image looks different from my usual images. That's because it was created by MellowMelon using a program (although the puzzle represented by the image was, of course, lovingly crafted by yours truly). This is how all of the images will look on the test, meaning you won't be able to tell which puzzles I made and which ones MellowMelon made, drastically increasing the difficulty of the test! (Or. . . not. :) )

Fillomino-Fillia!

In October of 2010, I had my first taste of solving puzzles in a competitive environment, thanks to the 20/10 Puzzle Decathlon, a well-written test by grandmaster Thomas Snyder which was hosted on Logic Masters India. As exciting as the whole experience was, I am even more excited to announce that this coming weekend, as I have hinted at previously, fellow logicsmith Palmer Mebane and I will present Fillomino-Fillia, a test on Logic Masters India consisting entirely of Fillomino puzzles (including a bevy of variations). I hope you will choose to participate in this test.

To participate, you will need to register an account on Logic Masters India. Download the instruction booklet and (when it is made available, which I'm told is usually a day before the test starts) the password-protected puzzle booklet. You may choose to start the test at any time during the weekend of June 4 and June 5 (note that this is GMT, so participants in the US, for example, will have between late June 3 and late June 5 to begin the test). When you do, the password to unlock the puzzle booklet will be given to you, and you will have 120 minutes to print out and solve as many of the 18 puzzles as you can. Each puzzle is worth a varying number of points, roughly corresponding to its difficulty; the harder the puzzle has been judged to be (based on the opinion of the authors and the test-solvers), the more points it's worth. When the 120 minutes have expired, you can see how well you performed, and how you compared to other contenders.

Some words of advice based on my experience:
* Read the freaking instruction booklet. When you're an idiot like me, you have no idea how much having your mind as prepared as possible to the puzzle booklet's contents will help you perform better on the test, until you've made the mistake of starting the test without such preparation.
* Check your answers as you enter them! Improper checking of my answers definitely cost me some points. In particular, I wish that I had notated the grids more than I thought I needed to for the purposes of solving quickly, to make it easier to check my answers.
* Practice! Over the next few days, and in lieu of my usual Monday Mutants post, MellowMelon and I will be posting practice puzzles of the varieties you'll see on the test. (It'll be like having several Monday Mutants instead of just one!) Use them to your advantage to sharpen your mind and to prepare yourself for the test that is to come.

Also check out the LMI forums for more discussion regarding Fillomino-Fillia!

Contest 4 Results: A Cleverly-Titled Birthday Contest

The clock striking midnight on my 24th birthday signals the end of A Cleverly-Titled Birthday Contest. In this contest, solvers were tasked to make geometric order out of a Polyominous grid; when the puzzle is completed, the units digits of the numbers in seven cells can be placed in the blank spots in a URL leading to the AllMusic webpage on a certain song; solvers had to supply the title of the song, or the URL of the webpage. Naturally, now that the contest has ended, my readers, particularly the ones who found time to submit entries, are probably interested in seeing the results.

Warning: the following results contain spoilers (obviously)! If you wish to solve the contest puzzle yourself, please do so before reading on!

Monday Mutant 79: Streampunk (all 3's)

Shade in some cells black such that the black cells are all connected to each other through their edges, and no 2x2 cell area within the grid contains all black cells. Numbers in a cell indicate the sizes of the orthogonally contiguous groups formed by black cells sharing a corner or an edge with that cell. For example, "3" means that the cell shares a corner or an edge with three black cells, and they form a single group, whereas "1 3" means the cell shares a corner with four black cells which form a group of three cells and a single separate cell. Cells with numbers cannot be black. A 3 or a clue with a 3 in it has been placed in every white cell that could legally contain one.

Monday Mutant 78: Streampunk

Shade in some cells black such that the black cells are all connected to each other through their edges, and no 2x2 cell area within the grid contains all black cells. Numbers in a cell indicate the sizes of the orthogonally contiguous groups formed by black cells sharing a corner or an edge with that cell. For example, "3" means that the cell shares a corner or an edge with three black cells, and they form a single group, whereas "1 2" means the cell shares a corner with three black cells which form a group of two cells and a single separate cell. Cells with numbers cannot be black.

Before you complain about me featuring a "classic" puzzle type (a modern classic, mind you, but a classic nonetheless), I quote a post of yore: Monday Mutants is a series in which I will attempt to experiment with "mutant" puzzles. These could be existing puzzle types with an unusual change in the rules, hybrids combining elements from multiple puzzle types, or puzzle types neither invented nor popularized by Nikoli. Also remember that in the weeks after that post, I played around with several variants on said "classic" puzzle.
Two of my Cross the Streams puzzles have been published in Akil Oyunlari! I encourage you to get a copy of the magazine so you can see them. Don't let the Turkish language daunt you; the magazine's LiveJournal is devoted to making the puzzles as navigable as possible for English speakers. :)

Monday Mutant 77: Proof of Quilt / Battleships

Ten ships (as indicated below the grid: one four-cell ship, two three-cell ships, three two-cell ships, and four one-cell ships) are hidden in the grid. The ships may be rotated from the orientations shown (without changing the numbers), but may not overlap or occupy cells which share a corner or an edge. A number to the right of a row or below a column indicates how many cells in that row or column are occupied by ships. These ships also function as black cells in a Proof of Quilt puzzle, and the numbers on some of the ship segments function as they normally would in such a puzzle. None of the black cells already present in the grid are part of the ships. Locate the ships and solve the Proof of Quilt puzzle.
This could be my strangest Monday Mutant in a long time.

Grant's Review Corner: Volume 6

At approximately 3:00 AM local time on May 2, 2011, I received this e-mail:

Hi,

[Our company] has just launched [another crappy app] - which is an unique Sudoku app for the iPhone. The way it differentiates from all other Sudoku games is the fact that it is three dimensional and brings in an unique combination of fun of spinning dials and sliding pieces with number puzzle.

We noticed that you have been writing about other Sudoku puzzles and thought this app would be of interest to you. We would request you to write a review for this app for your readers. You can download the app for Free at [link to the "Pro" version of the app that costs money, as opposed to the free demo version].

For your convenience we have also attached with this email the official press release and the screen shots of the app along with this email.

In case you need any other information to publish a review for [another crappy app], we will be glad to help you with the same.


I may need to rename "Grant's Review Corner" "Grant's Annoyed Rant Corner".

Monday Mutant 76: Battleships (minesweeper)

Ten ships (as indicated below the grid: one four-cell ship, two three-cell ships, three two-cell ships, and four one-cell ships) are hidden in the grid. The ships may be rotated from the orientations shown, but may not overlap or occupy cells which share a corner or an edge. A number in a cell indicates how many of the cells sharing a corner or an edge with that cell are occupied by ships. Cells with numbers cannot contain ships. Find the ships.
Combining Minesweeper and Battleships is probably one of the most ironic things that's ever happened in the realm of puzzles, since in Minesweeper, you want to avoid hitting mines, but in Battleships, you want to hit the ships.

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